Join Us in the Fight For Net Neutrality

Rachel:

After spending time in a country that heavily censors the internet, I have seen how that can hinder the free exchange of ideas. I strongly support an open, neutral internet. Read on to learn more about net neutrality and what you can do to support it!

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing.

Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open internet that we know and love, is under attack.

Net Neutrality under…

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Why I Read Science Fiction

LE GUIN

Why don’t I just write about what’s real? A lot of twentieth-century— and twenty-first-century—American readers think that that’s all they want. They want nonfiction. They’ll say, I don’t read fiction because it isn’t real. This is incredibly naive. Fiction is something that only human beings do, and only in certain circumstances. We don’t know exactly for what purposes. But one of the things it does is lead you to recognize what you did not know before.

This is what a lot of mystical disciplines are after—simply seeing, really seeing, really being aware. Which means you’re recognizing the things around you more deeply, but they also seem new. So the seeing-as-new and recognition are really the same thing.

INTERVIEWER

Could you elaborate on this idea just a little?

LE GUIN

Not adequately! I can only muddle at it. A very good book tells me news, tells me things I didn’t know, or didn’t know I knew, yet I recognize them— yes, I see, yes, this is how the world is. Fiction—and poetry and drama— cleanse the doors of perception.

All the arts do this. Music, painting, dance say for us what can’t be said in words. But the mystery of literature is that it does say it in words, often straightforward ones.

Read the full interview: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction No. 221 – Interviewed by John Wray

*Hat tip to Longreads for making me aware of this interview.

Video

Freedom of Speech Online

I’m really proud to work for a company that stands up for freedom of speech, fighting against those who try to unfairly silence others. Sometimes the issues that come up are negative and even scary: hatred, racism, objectification, death. Those can be hard, especially if you personally disagree with what’s being said even as you defend the right to say it.

But sometimes they are just ludicrous, like this trademark case:

Why is it called “Mean-Spirited Censorship Pie”? You can check out the recipe to find out! :)

You can also find out about more companies trying to unfairly censor the internet in the EFF Takedown Hall of Shame.